VILLAGE CHURCH SENIOR PASTOR
Prior to coming to Village in 2004, Tom Are, Jr. spent most of his life in the Southeast. He loves Royals’ baseball, stories that make you laugh, a book that makes you think and enough snowfall to close things down for a day or so. When he can’t be in Kansas City, his favorite spot is to be canoe/camping in Quetico, Canada.
Tom finds the Village Church family to be honest about faith, serious about mission and growing in our commitment to be shaped by the life of Jesus Christ. He sees significant changes in our culture regarding faith these days, and that gives him great energy and a deep sense of joy in his call to ministry.
Tom is a graduate of Presbyterian College in South Carolina, Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va. and Yale Divinity School. Previously, Tom has served Westminster Church in Charleston, S.C. Seven Oaks Church in Columbia, S.C. and Riverside Church in Jacksonville, Fla. Tom and his wife, Carol, have been married since 1987, and they have two young adult children, Sarah and Nathan. Carol is a registered nurse and Tom is a sixth generation Presbyterian pastor (that’s a lot!).
Brandon Frick serves as site pastor at Village on Antioch in his second ordained call. He comes to Village after serving Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in Severna Park, Md. and Palms Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville Beach, Fla. Originally from South Carolina, Brandon holds a B.A. in Religion and Philosophy from Presbyterian College, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in Religion from Baylor University. Brandon is excited to undertake the new ministry budding at Village on Antioch and is honored to provide pastoral care and leadership for this worshiping community.
Brandon is married to Aaryn, and they have two young sons, Nathan and Levi, who keep him busy and tired, but also happy and proud. Brandon also enjoys biking, wood carving and reading (but only the good ones).
Director of Music
Ryan is an accomplished composer, teacher and director. He has been leading choirs of all ages for over 12 years. After serving one year as interim director of music at Village on Mission, Ryan joined Village on Antioch as director of music in August 2017. He is helping us vision for and create a music ministry program for all ages and all skill levels.
Ryan is also the founding director of the Youth Chorus of Kansas City. He holds a Master of Music in Music Composition and a Master of Music in Music Education from the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition from the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance.
Prior to working at Village, he was the director of choirs at Van Horn High School and Nowlin Middle School in Independence, Mo. There his choirs regularly earned superior ratings and were honored with a performance at the American Choral Directors’ Association Southwest regional conference. Under his leadership, these choir programs grew by hundreds of students.
SITE AND COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Laura joined the staff at VOA in October 2018 after retiring from the Shawnee Mission School District where she served as a secondary reading specialist and English teacher. She earned a B.A. in English from Iowa State University, a M.S. in Adult Education from Kansas State University, and certification to teach English for Speakers of Other Languages from Emporia State University.
Laura has been married to Dennis Patton since 1990. They have two sons: Caleb, who graduated from K-State in 2018, and Noah, who is studying music at the University of North Texas. Laura and Dennis are long-time members of Grace Covenant Presbyterian where Laura has served as both elder and deacon.
Laura is thrilled to be starting her second career at VOA and hopes to grow along with the church.
Paula has served as director of Village on Antioch Preschool since August 2005. She grew up in Shawnee, Kan. and attended Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. She received her B.A. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in special education from Pittsburg State University.
Her philosophy in early childhood education is teaching children to think creatively so they may succeed in an ever-changing world. Paula notes that purposeful play is developmentally appropriate and a significant element of any early childhood program.
Paula has three young adult children, two sons, Taylor and Kyle, and one daughter, Katie, who are all currently in college.